Idolatrous Politics of Abortion

By Rev. David Wilson Rogers |  November 5, 2016

            Idolatry is dangerous and destructive. It is devastating because of the deceptive way idolatry distorts truth. Christians do not set out to worship false gods or intentionally place idolatrous trust in things that are not of God. Yet, we can easily get caught up in idolatrous worship through seemingly faithful, righteous, and even biblically justifiable causes. One of the most destructive is abortion. When abortion is a political issue, it is dangerous idolatry.  
            Abortion is a moral issue. The decision regarding an option, desire, or perceived need to terminate a pregnancy is not one that any Christian should take lightly. To that end, there are very few Christians who really believe in abortion. Fundamentally, the reality of abortion is only a symptom of a serious moral failure. Our problem is, as Christians, we tend to focus on the singular issue of abortion and ignore the real moral failures that bring on the reality of abortion.
            Ever since abortion became politicized, it has stood as an ideological issue upon which entire campaigns hang. It is idolatrous to argue that the overall integrity of a political candidate, the ability of that candidate to lead, or the moral character of a candidate are all factors which should be seen as insignificant provided that candidate has promised to pack the court with like-minded people who will rule on the criminalization of abortion.
            Part of the problem is the distortion that has been created by highly deceptive labels such as “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” Such language does not speak truth but serves only to guilt and shame Christians into accepting idolatrous ideological camps of distorted thinking. Add to the distortion and divisive politics that such labels create, it idolatrously defines faithfulness to God in terms of distorted issue politics rather than a quality relationship with God and faithful engagement for God in a morally broken world.
            Abortion is the result of an immoral world and legislative power will not change morality. Only faith in our loving, forgiving, and redeeming God can. It is immoral that economic factors, inadequate health care, and social realities motivate people to choose abortion. It is immoral that Christians would call for the outright criminalization of abortion, but do little to address the many factors that would prevent the unwanted pregnancy in the first place. It is immoral that women faced with the reality of pregnancy are turned into political footballs through fierce campaigns that call for Christians to either fight to protect the opportunity for an abortion or fight to criminalize and punish the choice to obtain an abortion. Both idolatrous responses distort the reality of her humanity and the perilous choices she is faced with making.
            The best hope for ending abortion is not through the Courts. We must focus our faithful efforts by denouncing the lie that the Church can accomplish God’s will by controlling the government, imposing punitive measures, and providing heavy-handed dominion over those who the Church determines are outside of God’s will. This divides Christians into the false divisions of “life” versus “choice” and ignores the moral failure driving abortion.
            We can, and should, end abortion. This can be done through prayer and faithfully working to transform our culture of death, war, punishment, and domination into a culture grounded in God’s love and mercy. We must faithfully live for equality, justice and righteousness; especially in areas of economics, poverty, and responsible sexuality. We must also end the culture of shame, hate, and scorn. Christianity is about loving God and neighbor, caring for the poor, the vulnerable, and the outcast, and leading others into the life-giving, grace-filled, and love-based relationship we know through Jesus Christ. It is time we got serious about ending abortion instead of merely playing politics and destroying lives in the process.